MONT-TREMBLANT, Que. – Jordan Szoke edged closer to his second straight Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship on Saturday by qualifying on pole for the season finale at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant.
The Brantford, Ont. rider recorded a scintillating time of one minute, 39.207 seconds (154.586km/h) on his Waznie Racing / BMW Motorrad Canada / Parts Canada BMW S1000RR around the 4.26km (2.65-mile) track early in the Magneti Marelli SuperPole session to claim his fourth pole of the season and earn another four points toward the Mopar Canadian Superbike title.
Szoke now has 255 points heading into Sunday’s 16-lap feature race, 45 more than Alex Welsh, who qualified fifth aboard the AW7R / Kenwood Electronics Canada / Parts Canada Suzuki GSX-R1000 and failed to add to his point total. A race win is worth 50 points and second place receives 42 points.
“It takes a little bit of the pressure off,” said Szoke, who is looking to add a record-extending ninth Canada Cup to his trophy case on Sunday. “My goal is to get a good start and ride smart. We have such a good set-up going that I’d love to try to check out, but the championship is the most important thing.”
Jodi Christie of Keene, Ont. qualified second quickest at 1:40.166 on the Jodi Christie Racing / Honda Canada / Accelerated Technologies Honda CBR1000RR and Mississauga, Ont.’s Matt McBride set the third fastest time of 1:40.611 aboard the Riders Choice BMW S1000RR.
Bodhi Edie of Warman, Sask. completes the front row for Sunday’s race after recording a lap at 1:41.359 on his Edie Racing / Charles Antle / Ffun Motorsports BMW S1000RR.
Szoke was second quickest in the 20-minute prequalifying session that established the top 10 competitors for the 15-minute SuperPole shootout, but he laid down his quick time on only his second lap of the SuperPole session.
“It felt like the perfect lap and the bike was working perfectly; I think that was the best we could get,” added Szoke, who has four Mont-Tremblant Superbike wins in his career. “I felt like I nailed every corner as well as I could. The crew has done a phenomenal job with the bike.”
Christie had been quickest in prequalifying with a time of 1:40.370 but was unable to match that effort until the end of the SuperPole period.
“We’re making progress every time out,” said Christie, who comes into the weekend third in the Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship standings but out of contention for the title. “Last year was my first time here and we didn’t get a lot of dry set-up time then, so there’s been a lot to learn. But I think we’ll have a good race pace.”
McBride continued to show his good form at Le Circuit Mont-Tremblant. He finished second at this event last season and is coming off a third place finish at the most recent Mopar Canadian Superbike Championship event at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park two weeks ago.
Like Christie, Edie put in his best lap right at the end of SuperPole qualifying after battling an electrical issue earlier in the session.
“I wanted to come into the pits near the end of the session but I saw I didn’t have a lot of time so I got on it,” admitted Edie, who claimed his first career national Superbike win two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park. “I had a few moments on that lap.”
Uxbridge, Ont.’s Welsh will head the second row of Sunday’s grid after recording a best lap of 1:41.449.
“We had problems yesterday with the bike not working really well and then a crash, so that really set us back a full day,” explained Welsh, who has finished on the podium in every round this season. “The forks and the shock are both issues. I’m not getting the feeling I want from the front and I’m searching for grip in the rear. We need to find a consistent half-second to be there in the race.”
Welsh will be joined on the second row by sixth fastest qualifier Frank Trombino of Kleinburg, Ont., who recorded a 1:41.462 on his Trombino Racing / Royal Plumbing / FDS Racing Aprilia RSV4 Factory, and top rookie qualifier Trevor Daley of Mississauga, Ont., who lapped at 1:42.176 on the One Speed Suzuki GSX-R1000. Daley is chasing Kristopher Garvie for the Sunoco / Brooklin Cycle Racing Pro Rookie of the Year Award.
The top 10 starters for Sunday’s race are rounded out by Sebastien Tremblay of Longueuil, Que. aboard the MotoNation / ASM Motorsport BMW S1000RR, the Robinson Racing / Gym-Max / Monette Sports BMW S1000RR of Gatineau, Que.’s Tim Robinson, and Montreal’s MJ Boucher with her Nelson Power / RBCI / Blue Streak Racing BMW S1000RR.
In other action at Mont-Tremblant, Christie claimed pole for the final round of the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike Championship by just 0.005 secs. in a dramatic qualifying session on Saturday. Riding his Honda CBR600RR the Keene, Ont. rider turned a lap at 1:42.194 with his final lap of the session.
Christie has already clinched his third straight title in the Pro Sport Bike class and will be going for his sixth win in six races on Sunday.
Marco Sousa closed the gap to points leader Mitch Card in the Bazzaz / Inside Motorcycles Amateur Sport Bike class by taking his Suzuki GSX-R600 to pole with a new track record of 1:45.712. Sousa now has 204 points to the 214 of Ripley, Ont.’s Card, who qualified third for Sunday’s race on his ProStar Motorsports / Blue Streak Racing Honda CBR600RR.
Tomas Casas scored his seventh win in nine Honda CBR250R National Race Series events on Saturday. The Peterborough, Ont. rider, who clinched the title two weeks ago at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, took his Peterborough Cycle Salvage-backed entry to a 29.146-sec. victory over Ottawa’s Samuel Dutrisac, who came out on top of an exciting three-way battle for the runner-up spot.
Action at Mont-Tremblant concludes Sunday with feature races in all six national classes. Practice starts at 9:00 a.m. with the first race, the Honda CBR250R National Race Series season finale, set to launch at 11:40 a.m.
Tickets are available by calling (819) 425-6363, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Fans can also visit the website at www.lecircuit.com.
Video coverage of the Mopar Pro Superbike, Harley-Davidson Canada XR1200 Cup and Saturday’s Honda CBR250R National will be available on www.csbk.ca, as well as highlights from the Hindle Exhaust Pro Sport Bike race.
Pro Superbike Qualifying Results
1. Jordan Szoke, Brantford, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:39.207 (154.586km/h)
2. Jodi Christie, Keene, Ont., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:40.166
3. Matt McBride, Mississauga, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:40.661
4. Bodhi Edie, Warman, Sask., BMW S1000RR, 1:41.359
5. Alex Welsh, Uxbridge, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:41.449
6. Frank Trombino, Kleinburg, Ont., Aprilia RSV4 Factory, 1:41.462
7. Trevor Daley, Mississauga, Ont., Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:42.176
8. Sebastien Tremblay, Longueuil, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:42.438
9. Tim Robinson, Gatineau, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:42.596
10. MJ Boucher, Montreal, Que., BMW S1000RR, 1:44.414
11. Jean-Francois Cyr, Ste-Adele, Que., Aprilia RSV4 Factory, 1:43.698
12. Raphael Archambault, Terrebonne, Que., Suzuki GSX-R600, 1:43.821
13. Matt Cooper, Guelph, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:44.356
14. Franklyn Dominguez, St-Lazare, Que., Honda CBR1000RR, 1:44.420
15. Kristopher Garvie, Caledon, Ont., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1:45.068
16. Chris Murray-Audain, Scarborough, Ont., BMW S1000RR, 1:45.424
17. Will Hornblower, Sarnia, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:45.658
18. Louie Raffa, Ste-Marthe, Que., Honda CBR600RR, 1:46.701
19. Brent Strong, Mississauga, Ont., Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:49.364
20. Ron Munroe, Beaver Bank, N.S., Kawasaki ZX-10R, 1 :49.811
21. Richard Thompson, Milford, N.S., Kawasaki ZX-6R, No Time
22. Austin Shaw-O’Leary, Falmouth, N.S., Yamaha YZF-R6, No Time
23. Philippe Masse, St-Hyacinthe, Que., Kawasaki ZX-6R, No Time
–From Frontline CSBK Inc.